***Visits Buddy Holly Plane Crash Site***
Plane Crash Site of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens & "Big Bopper"
US 18 to North 8th Street north in Clear Lake for 4.7 miles. When the paved road (which has turned into Grouse Avenue) turns left (west), go right (east) on gravel road (310th Street), then immediately left (north) on Gull Avenue. Follow Gull Avenue for 1/2 mile, just past the grain bins to t-intersection of a gravel road from the right and first fence row on left (west). The fence begins at the street sign for "Gull Ave." and "315th St."(Look for large Buddy Holly glasses) Walk along the fence row west for just under 1/2 mile.
It was just another Iowa soybean field before the plane carrying Buddy Holly crashed there. Now, to fans, it's hallowed ground.
Ken Paquette, who lives in Portersfield, Wis., 50 miles north of Green Bay, wanted something permanent at the exact location of the crash. "People didn't know exactly where it was," said Paquette, a 50's era fan. "There were flowers scattered all along the fence line. I thought there should be something there."
Paquette made a stainless steel guitar and a set of three stainless steel records. On the guitar are the names Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper, along with the date of the crash, 2/3/59. On the records, there are the names of the recording labels and the big hits for the three artists: "Peggy Sue" on Coral, "Donna" on Del Fi and "Chantilly Lace" on Mercury.
The memorial is located on private property. Visitors are asked to respect their rights while visiting "The Place The Music Died."
Four trees were also planted along the fence row in 1999, one for each performer and the pilot.